In Print and Kindle Creating the Declaration Of Independence

The 225th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights, Part II

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When reflecting on the first ten amendments to the American Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, focus is often on the great freedoms of religion, speech, press and the right to bear arms.  The Bill of Rights became 225 years old on December 15, 2016. With that in mind, it is worth a moment to […]

The “Prime Time” Republican Primary Debate and the Constitution

Governor Huckabee

Both President Obama and the Supreme Court have been described as “lawless” in respect to the Constitution. That description addresses actions perceived to be outside the authority granted to them by the Constitution. With such criticisms, what might Americans have to look forward to in respect to the constitutional rule of law in a new […]

The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, Descendant of the Magna Carta

Magna_Carta_Memorial,_Runnymede_-_geograph.org.uk_-_705911

 “No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” Magna Carta, Chapter 39, June 15, 1215 June 15, 2015 marks the 800th Anniversary […]

The Fifth Amendment Guarantee Against Double Jeopardy

Cain Kills Abel

The US Constitution‘s Fifth Amendment requires government procedures to protect the natural, inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness recognized in the Declaration of Independence. Among these protections is a limit on multiple prosecutions based upon the same alleged conduct.  This limitation is commonly referred to as a protection from “double jeopardy”. The Double […]

The Fifth Amendment’s Grand Jury: A Proud & Lost Protection of Liberty

Grand Jury Room

The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights mandates government procedures to protect the natural, inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness recognized in the Declaration of Independence. The amendment contains five protections for these natural rights. The Fifth Amendment’s first protection requires the federal government to use a grand jury to […]

The Fifth Amendment: Procedural Protections for Natural Rights

The First United States Congress proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution in 1789. The states ratified ten of the proposed amendments: The Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment contains five procedural rights. If the government seeks to take someone’s life, liberty or property it must follow the Fifth Amendment’s rules. The Fifth Amendment “No person […]

Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman and the Founders’ Faith in Grand Juries

State Attorney Angela Corey

“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution…”  Thomas Jefferson The death of Trayvon Martin during an altercation with George Zimmerman prompted calls for a national discussion about race relations that went all the way to […]

Boston Marathon Bomber, Miranda Warnings and the Public Safety Exception

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect #2:  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Law enforcement’s goal of taking Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect #2, [1] Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, alive was commendably achieved.  A principle reason for this goal was to question Tsarnaev about further potential dangers to the public.  The FBI has announced its intent to question him “extensively” prior to reading him Miranda warnings, relying upon the “public safety” exception […]

The Origin and Meaning of the Miranda Warnings

Ernesto Miranda

The Miranda warnings are part of American criminal justice and American popular culture.  Where do they come from? What do they mean? Ernesto Miranda was the name of a 23 year old Mexican immigrant.  The United States Supreme Court in 1966 announced a constitutional rule of criminal procedure requiring that police must advise a suspect of several […]